Posted by Shade of the Moriah Tree
“Let them praise the name of the Lord! For He commanded and they were created” – Psalm 148:5
“All have turned aside; together they have become worthless…” – Romans 3:12
THE APOSTLE PAUL in the above passage (Romans) is referring to the entire human race, not just the Jews as some assume (verses 3-10).
Verse 5 of Psalm 148 is in reference to the angelic sphere, along with the realm of sun, stars, sky and its waters, but it does not exclude man because by God’s command he too came to be; man has existed because God decreed it and spoke it.
We were created to worship God, but we are so depraved (having been born into sin) that our idea of worship is so twisted, so warped and so perverse that we hate the thought of worshipping God; we see it as tyranny: “Who is God to worship anyway… am I not good… am I not a god in my owns right too?” our human nature cries out. None of us are in a position to say it is not true of us; it lies there, buried within each of our hearts, awaiting the opportunity to be stirred and awaken and when it does, the god of self rears its head, vehemently defying the One true God. Have we ever got to the point of knowing our own hearts to where we feel we could commit the vilest crimes ever? Have we ever been aware of such evil in the deepest parts of us? It is one of the best antidotes for not trusting in ourselves, causing us to throw ourselves entirely on nothing but the mercy of God.
“All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
How far, how terribly far we have fallen from God’s order that it ought to wrench our hearts with uncontrollable sobbing. Man, being the highest of the created order, has utterly failed God. What a travesty beyond travesties. We have all become altogether worthless (Romans 3:12). The stories we have heard as youths from Sunday school classes, the sermons we have heard through the years have only numbed us from realising the crime of our ways; it takes the Holy Spirit to shatter us with these alarming truths.
Ponder over Psalm 148 in its entirety:
“Praise the LORD!
Praise the LORD from the heavens;
praise Him in the heights!
Praise Him, all his angels;
praise Him, all his hosts!
Praise Him, sun and moon,
praise Him, all you shining stars!
Praise Him, you highest heavens
and you waters above the heavens!
Let them praise the name of the LORD!
For He commanded and they were created.
And He established them forever and ever;
He gave a decree, and it shall not pass away.
Praise the LORD from the earth,
you great sea creatures and all deeps,
fire and hail, snow and mist,
stormy wind fulfilling His word!
Mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars!
Beasts and all livestock,
creeping things and flying birds!
Kings of the earth and all peoples,
princes and all rulers of the earth!
Young men and maidens together,
old men and children!
Let them praise the name of the LORD,
for His name alone is exalted;
His majesty is above earth and heaven.
He has raised up a horn for His people,
praise for all His saints,
for the people of Israel who are near to Him.
Praise the LORD!
Do we ever think that the sun, stars, moon were put there just to burn and shine; do we ever think they are there to reflect His glory – and this is a daring thing to state: do we ever contemplate that such created wonders (to include the mountains, the sea and all that is in it – every breathing living thing) acknowledge God – “For the creation waits with eager longing for the revelation of the sons of God…For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves…” (Romans 8:19, 22-23). Everything that has breath was made to praise God. Should it not grieve us, should it not bend us, should it not break us with the realisation of the distance between us and God, should it not make us longingly cry to be made in to true worshippers of God?
Can we gaze here for a while; can we look at what we once had, of what we once were in Adam and Eve, who could worship God perfectly before their fall into sin marred all that? Oh! We can blame those two for as long as we live, but we are just as guilty as they are and we would have likewise fallen – and we have (Romans 5:12-21), but that is so unpalatable for us to hear, is it not? And we will argue with God’s Word and twist it to mean something that it is not.
The world hates that the one and only way for humanity to be straightened out is through the redemption of Christ. We can argue our way through philosophy, science and psychology as much as we like and we may have our periods of ‘reform’ only to end up much worse than before. History and our present world reveal that all too well. We (society as a whole) can brag about evolution until we’re blue in the face, but the facts around us go to show that we are far from advancing, but rather devolving. How long will it take; how long must God bear with us in our foolishness and slowness to take Him at His Word? How long will God bear with those, who in His name, slowly but surely compromise and run His Word into the dirt? So right was Leonard Ravenhill when he said, “Revival is when God gets so sick and tired of being misrepresented that He shows Himself.” Have we ever thought of revival in that way? “For My names sake”, says the Lord – not for our goodness, but for His names sake. How often the Church has misrepresented God, but in His mercy He readjusts her and restores her in order to go out into the nations and faithfully proclaim His Word. “Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ” (Colossians 1:28).
The way to effectively proclaim Him is to worship Him aright. Tozer said, regarding the Church, “Not only do we tell lies; we sing them.” Do we love Him, not just by singing, but by living for Him – for that is worship at its heart?
The great news is that we have been lifted through Christ beyond where Adam and Eve were before they sinned; God’s grace has exceedingly abounded where sin once reigned. How do our lives fare with such truths? Are we showing that? Are we fulfilling our God-given purpose by worshipping Him, thus walking in a manner worthy of the calling to which we have been called?
Posted in ♣ Devotional
Tags: A.W. Tozer, abounding grace, Altogether Worthless, angelic sphere, apostle Paul, arguing with God's Word, creation, defying God, devolving, devotional, distrusting ourselves, evolution, failing God, fallen from God, foolishness, god of self, highest creation, history, human nature, Leonard Ravenhill, living for God, loving God, Mark Anthony Williams, mercy of God, misrepresenting God, moon, mountains, One true God, philosophy, Psalm 148, Psalm 148:5, psychology, redemption of Christ, revival, Romans 3:12, science, sea, sin, sky, stars, Sun, twisting God's Word, vilest crimes, walking worthy, worshipping God, worthless